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Vagal Tank theory: The three Rs of cardiac vagal control functioning - resting, reactivity, and recovery.

Laborde, S., Mosley, E. and Mertgen, A., 2018. Vagal Tank theory: The three Rs of cardiac vagal control functioning - resting, reactivity, and recovery. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 12, 458.

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Vagal Tank Theory The Three Rs of Cardiac Vagal Control Functioning - Resting, Reactivity, and Recovery.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.


DOI: 10.3389/fnins.2018.00458


The aim of this paper is to set the stage for the vagal tank theory, showcasing a functional resource account for self-regulation. The vagal tank theory, building on neurophysiological, cognitive and social psychology approaches, will introduce a physiological indicator for self-regulation that has mainly been ignored from cognitive and social psychology, cardiac vagal control (also referred to as cardiac vagal activity). Cardiac vagal control reflects the contribution of the vagus nerve, the main nerve of the parasympathetic nervous system, to cardiac regulation. We propose cardiac vagal control to be an indicator of how efficiently self-regulatory resources are mobilized and used. Three systematic levels of cardiac vagal control analysis are suggested: resting, reactivity, and recovery. Based on this physiological indicator we derive the metaphor of the vagal tank, which can get depleted and replenished. Overall, the vagal tank theory will enable to integrate previous findings from different disciplines and to stimulate new research questions, predictions, and designs regarding self-regulation.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:HF; RMSSD; RSA; executive functions; heart rate variability; parasympathetic activity; self-control; vagal tone
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:38152
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:09 Feb 2023 10:00
Last Modified:09 Feb 2023 10:00


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